Walking in Memphis: Depay due to make World Cup impression
It has been a whirlwind season for young Memphis Depay, who put on his blue suede shoes and boarded a plane, to join a Netherlands squad sprinkled with superstars amid rumours of Premier League interest in his services.
Louis van Gaal will be hoping the 20-year old winger, who plays primarily on the left, but can also provide cover on the right, can keep his feet on the ground and perform.
The youngster has already set the bar high due to the standard of his entertaining exploits at Eredivsie side PSV this season.
Famous for trusting youth, the Clockwork Orange coach will have no qualms about throwing Depay into the fray alongside experienced heads Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, as he continues to tweak with a formation forced upon him by injury.
The wing wizard has been linked with a summer switch to Manchester United, so would do well to impress his current coach if he hopes to secure a transfer.
Fleet-footed and an impressive dribbler with a nose for goal, Depay would slot straight in to the Red Devils squad, who lack star dust in wide positions, with many players poised to move on.
For the Netherlands, who are 3/1 to win Group B, the tricky winger of Ghanaian descent may initially begin his Brazilian journey as a super-sub, using his pace and goal threat to terrorise tired defences.
The bright spark, 5/1 to score anytime against Spain, hit headlines for his domestic club after scoring a 30-yard scorcher against NEC, and stole the show all season as the jewel in the crown of a youthful PSV side.
Having netted 13 times in 39 appearances for club and country this term, Depay is an exciting but raw prospect who can provide the Oranje, 9/2 to defeat Vicente del Bosque’s boys, with the unexpected.
Along with his propensity to dazzle and dare, the attacking midfielder has question marks remaining over his temperament and composure. One notable incident that took place during PSV’s campaign was a training ground tussle caught on camera between the youngster and right back Joshua Brenet.
An aspect of the 20-year-old’s conduct that can be commended, though, is his resilience. The talented winger shrugged off an injury to his eye socket, taking to the field with a specialist mask only a week after the incident occurred.
With the Netherlands squad competing in a tough Group B that includes Spain, Chile and Australia, it is difficult to predict how many chances Depay will get, but boy they’ve got a player in Memphis.